Every person has been given a gift or talent from God, and some people may have multiple gifts. The use of talent resembles the use of time and treasure in that it can be spent achieving earthly goals like fame, prestige, pleasure, stuff, money, and power, or it can be invested in the kingdom of God.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.
It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
—1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Romans 12:6–8 encourages us with these words:
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Son Power and Talent
Here are several questions to consider as you think about the use of your talent(s):
- What talent/s has God blessed me with?
This question may not be easy to answer because the things we are good at often simply seem natural to us. However, God has created each one of us for specific purposes and consequently he has designed us so that we can accomplish them. If you are uncertain about the talent or talents God has entrusted to you, ask the Holy Spirit to show them to you through Scripture and fellow believers. Get involved in doing things for God’s kingdom by serving others in various ways. As you do, the talents God has entrusted to you will emerge and become obvious to those around you.
Your talent may surprise you. It may be something that is easily recognized, such as musical ability or organization or speaking. It might be something less visible, such as the ability to be encouraging or to show mercy or the ability to see and help those in need in basic, practical ways.
- In what ways am I embracing my God-given talents and abilities as a resource to be used for God’s plans and purposes?
The abilities that you have been given are designed so that God’s work might be accomplished and his kingdom expanded. Each one of us has a choice: we can either use these abilities to accomplish whatever we choose, or we can allow the Holy Spirit to use these gifts. God-given gifts can accomplish a lot when they are used naturally, but when we allow the Holy Spirit to permeate those gifts with his power, supernatural results will occur. Are you willing to allow God to use your gifts to bless others?
- Am I using my talents where God wants me to invest them?
Your talents can and should be used! God is waiting to use you. You may be busy, you may have responsibilities, you may have little time, but God can and will still allow you to use your talent for the expansion of his kingdom. Let’s be honest, many of us are using our talents and abilities in the wrong places. Why? Partly because a need has come before us and we’ve jumped in without really taking time to listen to the Spirit’s leading, and partly because we haven’t thought carefully about where God might best use our talent. Need does not equal involvement. There is need everywhere! Seek the Holy Spirit’s direction as to where God wants you to be involved. At the same time, don’t be afraid to take on something that really does need to be done that you might not seem totally gifted for. God will provide whatever it is you need to get the job done. Ultimately, ask for the Holy Spirit’s direction and guidance.
Dependence on Son Power
- In what ways am I expecting the Holy Spirit to magnify my talents by his provision and protection?
The Holy Spirit can provide greater impact through the use of your talents. He can create opportunities where your abilities will have far greater results than anything you could imagine. He can also increase your talents for a supernatural effect. I have also experienced the Holy Spirit orchestrating others to join with me to create a synergistic outcome.
The Holy Spirit can also protect you from the misuse of your God-given talent. He can show us when fleshly desires are motivating us to use our abilities in the pursuit of fame or fortune. He can also make us aware if our ego is manipulating us to use our giftedness to elevate ourselves while devaluing others. The Holy Spirit can help us overcome the fear of failure that holds us back from situations that might stretch our abilities.
Ephesians 3:20 reminds us, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (emphasis added). More than we might ask or think. The Holy Spirit works within us, infusing our talents with his power, and accomplishing supernatural results.
Allow Son Power to enable you to use your gift(s) in a supernatural way. Trust the Holy Spirit to provide opportunities for you to use your talent for God’s kingdom work. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, NKJV), “for it is God who works in [us] both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13, NKJV).
In what ways can you use your talent(s) for God’s purposes?